Wake me Up when October Ends

In one of the last scenes of “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown,” Sally bemoans the fact that she missed out on Halloween festivities due to sitting in the pumpkin patch with Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin, a mythical Halloween figure who never materializes despite the sincerity of the pumpkin patch in which they wait. This year, waking up on November 1st, I know the feeling; it’s as if I missed the entire month of October!

October is historically busy for us – for years it was the month of band contests, costume planning, and Halloween parties or trick or treating. It still is the month when (ideally), the weather finally begins to cool, the leaves change, and we take day trips or the occasional overnight weekend. Our anniversary is in October – this year is our 27th. The last few years have brought college concerts for my nieces and nephew. It’s a month packed with activities and one of my favorite times of the year.

This year we had Abby and Sean’s wedding at the end of the month so time, money, and mental energies were dedicated to all of those arrangements. Then on the third of the month, my mother had a serious car accident, and sustained a broken arm which necessitated caregiving. I had a couple of health issues I had to follow up on and it seems like the month was positively consumed with doctor’s appointments, wedding plans, and daily survival.

Looking back over the month, there weren’t a lot of leaf looking, outdoor movie, bonfire adventures. The concerts we had planned to attend were watched virtually. The weather took a most unseasonable turn and was hot and humid for a great deal of the month. But I did get to spend a lot of time with my mom, watching both Escape to the Chateau and the gymnastics worlds, while working on a cross stitch project wedding gift, my stitching getting more intense as the days passed. Trever and I had a non traditional anniversary dinner at the park, followed by shopping and ice cream. Sarah and I had found time for our usual Gilmore Girls viewing times squeezed in amongst the chaos – we are first time viewers of what is a classic for so many. And I had the stressful, chaotic, and absolutely great honor of planning a wedding that was beautiful and memorable, albeit a bit damp, for Abby and Sean.

I think we did the best we could with what October gave us to work with. We are so very fortunate despite all of life’s challenges, that we are safe and (reasonably) healthy in a world that seems to spew forth awful news on an hourly basis. We have each other, we have life, and we have love. My only regret is I always feel as if I could live with a little more focus on the present moment, more intentionality. Oh, well, maybe in November…

Karri Temple Brackett

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